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Tom Hiddleston has declared the Marvel universe “has to reflect the world we live in” and says Loki coming out as bisexual is a “small step” forward.
The actor has played the anti-hero in a number of Marvel films and a recent TV spin-off in which Loki reveals he's had love affairs with both men and women – and Tom says he felt “honoured” to have been able to bring that aspect of the character to the screen.
He told Variety: “Back from my early days of researching the character in the ancient myths, the identity of Loki was fluid in every aspect and in gender, in sexuality.
“It's a very ancient part of the character and I think I thought about it … It hadn't emerged in the stories we've told. And I was really pleased and privileged, actually, that it's came up in the series.”
Tom went to add: “It's a small step. There's so much more to do. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to reflect the world we live in. So it was an honour to bring that up. It was really important to me. It was really important to (director) Kate Herron and (showrunner) Michael Waldron, and I'm pleased that we could bring it into our story.”
The character's sexuality was mentioned in the third episode of Disney+ series Loki in a conversation with a female version of himself played by Sophia Di Martino.
Loki's romantic past with both princes and princesses was brought up in a single line of dialogue which sparked criticism from some who claimed it should have been explored further.
Among the critics was ‘Doctor Who' boss Russell T. Davies, who slammed the move as “pathetic” during a recent panel discussion.
He told the audience: “I think that's a very great worry. ‘Loki' makes one reference to being bisexual once, and everyone's like, ‘Oh my god, it's like a pansexual show.' It's like one word. He said the word ‘prince,' and we're meant to go, ‘Thank you, Disney! Aren't you marvelous?'
“It's pathetic. It's a ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture towards the vital politics and the stories that should be told.”
Director Kate Herron later responded to Davies' criticism, telling Variety: “I don't disagree that there should be bigger stories being told, but – and I think he has a right to his opinion – I'm very proud of what we did in the show. Russell is a hero of mine, but like I've said, I hope that we did at least open the door and that more stories will come.”